Let me be crystal clear: Robert S. Mueller III told congressional questioners that Donald J. Trump, the nation’s president, obstructed justice.
No, he didn’t say the words: “Donald Trump obstructed justice.”
But he made a couple of key points that need to be reaffirmed. So I will do so.
He said in May that if there were grounds to “exonerate” the president of obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation, “we would have said so.” He didn’t.
Then this past month, in testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, Mueller was asked whether he would indict Trump were he not president. He said “yes” both times.
So, the way I interpret the former special counsel’s findings is that he believes the president obstructed — or sought to obstruct — justice while he was looking for nearly two years into whether the Trump presidential campaign conspired to collude with Russian goons who attacked our electoral system in 2016. He couldn’t prove conspiracy. I accept that finding.
Mueller left the obstruction of justice matter up to Congress.
Therefore … he concluded that Trump obstructed justice.
Is any of this impeachable? It is likely that there are grounds for impeachment somewhere in this mess.
The bigger question facing House members, though, is whether there are sufficient grounds to move congressional Republicans — namely those in the Senate — off their stubborn resistance to doing what they must, which is to impeach the president and then convict him of those deeds in a Senate trial.
If the answer is “no,” then there is no point to impeaching this con artist/clown/carnival barker.